Vision Insurance

Vision insurance is often misunderstood by many people. Depending on the reason for the doctor’s visit—be it a routine examination or an eye injury—it’s not always clear which kind of eye doctor to visit. At its basic level, vision insurance helps cover costs linked to routine eye exams, contact lenses and glasses. Some vision plans also pay for corrective procedures, and this includes laser eye surgery. Finally, most vision plans include a pair of glasses or contact lenses per year.

Which Insurance Policy Covers Eye Disease or Eye Injury?

Regular vision examinations at optometrists or general ophthalmologists may result in diagnoses such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. During these examinations, however, the optometrist or general ophthalmologist might detect an issue connected to diabetes or some other disease. Meanwhile, medical eye examinations may result in a diagnosis such as conjunctivitis, usually called pink eye and a common occurrence among children. Most insurance companies focus on the reason for your visit, so your health insurance policy likely would not cover a routine eye examination. A follow-up visit with your doctor because of a problem detected during a routine eye exam, however, may be covered. Moreover, your health insurance plan likely would cover a doctor’s visit for an eye disease or eye injury.

What Does Vision Insurance Cover?

Vision insurance usually covers a percentage of these basic services:

  • Annual eye examination
  • Eyeglass lenses
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Contact lenses
  • LASIK and PRK vision correction procedures at a specially discounted rate
Your vision care insurance provider may place a limit on how often it will pay for lenses and frames. Most plans cover visits annually or every two years.
vision insurance form

Who Provides Vision Care Services?

Usually, plans for vision insurance, including those you purchase or are provided by your employer, contract with eye-care professionals. In some plans, you receive care from an eye-care provider and get a discount on services. Most plans offered by a vision insurance company, however, are called PPOs (preferred provider organizations). This means that your eye care is managed by a network of eye-care providers. In a PPO, you can also use out-of-network eye-care providers but must pay a larger share of the cost.

Eye-care offices and networks generally include optometrists and general ophthalmologists. Some networks may also include ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists perform refractive surgery and offer LASIK and other vision-correction procedures.

Is Vision Insurance Needed?

If you or members of your family wear corrective lenses and need periodic eye examinations and changes in your lens prescription, it is worthwhile to buy vision-care insurance. If you do not wear or need glasses, you may be able to get a periodic eye examination through your regular health insurance plan.

BeneFinder’s agents can help you save money and time while finding the best vision insurance plan for you and your family.

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